Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pure Devotion (Advent Poem 2014)

Pure Devotion
(In Metered Rhyme and Free Verse)
by Virginia Knowles, Advent 2014

My Messiah's pure devotion
Set his mission into motion
He preached his message clear and sure
And lived his gospel bold and pure
So innocent, he scorned sin's fall
His sacrifice redeemed us all.

Then raised to life beyond the grave
His power pure enough to save
To wash us clean and fill the soul
With Spirit's strength to make us whole
Let us then with forward motion
Live our lives with pure devotion.

He came and lived with pure devotion
A set purpose: to seek and serve 
   and save the lost
To give his own perfect life 
   as a ransom for sinners
His death was planned 
   long before his earthy birth
Though he wandered the countryside
There was no aimlessness about him
He knew who he was
He knew where he came from
He knew where he was going
Something about that infuses a soul 
   with sacred confidence
There was nothing that could 
hold him back from that destiny
Herod tried, sending soldiers 
   to destroy the infant Christ
The devil tried, tempting him 
   with bread and power in the wilderness
The Pharisees tried, asking questions to trap him
Then that failing, crucifying him
Yet nothing could stop that divine destiny
That mission of mercy and justice
His death instead set the captives free
And raised them up like a shining chalice
Filled with new wine, 
   with the Spirit of Living Fire
Do you see what he did for you?
Kindle it in your heart
Let it blaze hot and high
In holy consecration and
Follow him with pure devotion


Why the two versions of this poem? I am usually a free verse poet, but I woke up with the first two rhyme & rhythm lines of the first version and decided to continue it. (For those who like the mechanics of poetry, it is written in pairs of rhyming lines called couplets. The first and last couplets are trochaic tetrameter, and the middle four in iambic tetrameter.) After I wrote it in standard poetry structure, I couldn't help but reinterpret it in more substantial free verse, which is more my natural poetic voice. 

Here is the second reason: It never hurts to read it over a second time, does it? This is not frivolous subject matter. If it speaks more to one person the first way, and another person the second way, and to both all the more because they see it both ways – why not? 

The point is, the most important thing in the world is what God has done for us, and how we respond to that. I hope that comes through with full clarity in “Pure Devotion.”

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

P.S. #1: I write an Advent poem every year. You can read all of them in here: Advent Poems by Virginia Knowles. You can also find most of my other Christmas links here: Christmas

Here are my Christmas links from this year:

Here are some of my other favorites:
P.S. #2: The photo at the top of this post is of crosses at Lake Baldwin Church, the back one draped in red for the Advent season. Here is the same photo with the Advent candles in front.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVED part one. That was great!! The rest kept my attention, but that first one grabbed my heart significantly. Thank you so much!


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